Brian sent me this picture with the caption “13 years ago today”.

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Date posted: January 18, 2022 | Filed under Chewbacca, history, Scout | Comments Off on 13 Years

I’ve been using Evaporust to clean up small parts for a couple of months now, but it gets pretty expensive in large quantities; a gallon is about $20 via Amazon. I just soaked a window scissor mechanism in a tub for two days and got it pretty clean, but a gallon was barely enough to cover the metal. Electrolysis is a great way to remove rust at scale, and all it requires is a tank of water, some salt, and a hunk of sacrificial steel. This video compares the two methods in detail, and finds that they both work about as well as each other. All things considered, I think I’d rather spend $20 on a rubbermaid tub and some salt.

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Date posted: January 12, 2022 | Filed under Future Plans, Scout | Comments Off on Evaporust vs. Electrolysis

We just heard through the grapevine that our old friend A., who has been in the local Scout scene longer than I can remember, passed away in December. I remember him as a wealth of information from back in the old IHC Digest days, before I’d even met him. When someone would complain about a particular part or the size of a fastener, he would email the list moments later with the exact name of the part or the correct size and pitch of the particular bolt. When I was having issues with the throttle cable on Peer Pressure during the first shakedown trips, he saw a picture I’d posted of the bracket, recognized it as the cable for an automatic, and sent me the correct bracket from his parts stash. He was always up for a Scout adventure, even if he habitually showed up late—that was understood.

He’d moved out to the country a couple of years ago and found a different job, and it sounded like he was happy there from what we heard. I was shocked to hear the news, and I’m sad to hear of his passing.

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Date posted: January 8, 2022 | Filed under friends, Scout | Comments Off on Milestone

DSCF9028

In 2021, I did a lot of things I wasn’t planning on, but needed to get done, like rebuilding the front bearings, replacing the front brakes, installing a cool bumper and then adding fog lights. Okay, maybe the bumper and fog lights didn’t need to happen, but it sure looks better. Reviewing the T0-Do list from 2021, there are some big things I thought I might be able to accomplish and some that were blue-sky goals; there will be some things that carry over to next year. And I’ve got some new goals for 2022, in order of importance and realistic accomplishment:

  • Replace the windshield. (2016) I pulled a good clear windshield from a Scout this summer, cleaned it up and made it ready to put in. I’ll need to order a new windshield gasket from Super Scouts, do some practice runs on the spare frames I’ve got, and then take a deep breath before I remove the old glass.
  • Fix the goddamn wipers. (2019) I still don’t know what the deal is with the wipers or why the motor works but the switch doesn’t, but I’ve now got a third switch to swap in and see if I can get things to work behind the dashboard. If it’s not that, there has to be a melted wire somewhere that I’ll have to chase down in the rat’s nest back there.
  • Fix the turn signal cam on the steering wheel. I’m 3/4 of the way into the teardown on my spare wheel, and it all seems to make sense so far. Sure would be nice to have functional cancelling turn signals.
  • Rotate the tires. This is pretty self-explanatory, and should be easy once I get a decent floor jack. One thing I’d like to do while I have the tires off is measure the backspacing on the spare tire to see if it’s anywhere near the aftermarket wheels I’m running on the truck. This way I’ll know if I can use the spare on the front wheels without rubbing.
  • Pull the spacer on the starter. I’ve come to find out the spacer in between my starter and the engine block is meant for automatic transmissions, so it needs to come out. I’m a pro at swapping starters at this point, so this should be a 30-minute fix, tops. Humorously, in going through my parts bins this week, I found a second spacer.
  • Fix the battery tray. (2021) Super Scout Specialists has new trays in stock, and I’d like to get rid of the ghetto bungee cord I’ve been using for 11 years.
  • Swap the gas tanks. I have the original steel tank Peer Pressure came with, and I’ve heard from several places that poly tanks will never seal at the sender properly. I’m inclined to believe this after eight years of suffering through gas fumes and leaks. The plan is to build a quick cradle/turntable out of wood, mount the tank on that, and dump some gravel inside. A half an hour of turning it like a cement mixer should remove any rust or scale inside, and then I can test it for leaks. When that’s done I’ll spray it with undercoating, test the sender, and put it in. I’m going to dig out the original evaporator linkage I stored away to aid in venting it properly. But the first thing I have to do is get the existing sender off the tank; it’s on there tight and not coming off.
  • Get the spare engine on a proper engine stand. The problem isn’t the stand, but how I can lift the engine up onto it. My garage is in no shape to support a chain hoist or any kind of overhead block and tackle, so I’ll have to borrow an engine hoist from somewhere for a 15-minute operation.
  • Buy a Scout Shed. My garage is pretty full, and I spend a lot of time reorganizing stuff just to move around in there. I’ve been considering a premade shed to store all of the parts I’ve got squirreled away, which would free up a lot of space in there. I’m earning some scratch on the side working on the schoolbus, and if I’m careful I could pay for this with a couple of weekends’ work.

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Date posted: January 2, 2022 | Filed under Scout, To-Do List | Comments Off on 2022 To-do List

I’ve been considering a switch to my Instagram account to split out the Scout into its own account for a while now. Looking at the Top 9 results from this year, I think my mind is made up.

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Date posted: January 1, 2022 | Filed under Inspiration, Scout | Comments Off on Top 9

Looking through my fuel/mileage notebook, and doing some revised math, I put a total of 3177 miles on the Scout this year. Now that I’ve fine-tuned the ratio calculation, I’ve updated the averages table from earlier this year to truly reflect the miles driven:

Total Yearly Miles Miles Minus Nats
2015 580 580
2016 276 276
2017 315 315
2018 1768 631
2019 1972 836
2020 1195 1195
2021 3177 2041

It certainly does feel like I’ve put more miles on her this year; from another Ohio trip to a visit out to the Scout Guru’s garage in Rehobeth to parts hunting in Western Maryland to multiple trips out to Chestertown, I’d say she’s gotten a hell of a workout.

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Date posted: December 22, 2021 | Filed under Inspiration, Scout | Comments Off on Mileage Wrap-up

 

It’s getting to the slow period of the year for fooling around with the Scout, so I’ve been trying to line up a couple of inside projects to work on while Peer Pressure snoozes in the garage. There have been several parts trucks I’ve visited this year where I’ve looked for two main assemblies to grab: the steering column and the heater box. I got a good example of the former and struck out on the latter.

At this point I’ve got the spare steering column on the bench, broken down past the turn signal assembly. That part is sitting on my desk waiting for me to order a replacement. There are two types, one that works for columns from ’71-’77 and another from ’77-’80. The plan is to buy the proper replacement, re-assemble the whole column, then pull it back apart to make sure I know the process back and forth. Then I’ll gather my courage and pull the real wheel on PP down to replace the assembly properly.

Next, I’d like to find a heater box worth refurbishing. The idea here is to pull the whole thing apart, replace the core unit and motor, strip and spray the box, and reassemble it properly. Then in the springtime I can swap that into place. Maybe I can trade Brendan a decent folding Scout 80 windshield for one. Or, I’ve got two of these in the basement—there’s $150 right there.

Some other ideas for inside projects:

  • Pull the air cleaner off, strip it down to the bare metal, and repaint the whole thing. I think Mike Moore has the proper V8 stickers available to spruce it up…
  • Drill and tap my shiny new filler-neck valve covers for the proper vacuum and hose fittings, and replace the old crusty ones original to the truck
  • pull scissor mechanisms from some of the spare doors, strip them down, and refurbish the mechanisms.

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Date posted: December 10, 2021 | Filed under Future Plans, Scout | Comments Off on Winter Plans

On FBM earlier this week an ad went up offering several International D-series trucks and one sad Scout, warning that they would only be there until the weekend and then they’d go to the crusher. I reached out to the guy asking for some details and better pics of the Scout, and he and Bennett and I traded some messages until Friday, when he told us he’d dropped them off at his local pick and pull lot because the County was after him. Bennett and I hatched a rescue mission after my original plans for the weekend fell through, and today we made the trip.

The northern part of Maryland is absolutely beautiful this weekend, and the ride was relatively short to boot. The weather forecast called for rain in the afternoon so I repacked my tools in the CR-V. We were on the road by 7:30 and made it to the field an hour later.

The rigs were all crowded around the bottom of the intake area next to the crusher. After talking with the yard folks we carried some tools inside, waited for them to move things with a huge forkloader, and started picking. There were 4 D series trucks for Bennett to choose from: a flatbed, a pickup, a cab with no bed, and a bed with no cab. The most desirable piece from any of the trucks, a D Series hood in immaculate shape, had been removed and lay under the chopped cab on the floor of the flatbed—ouch. Bennett set to work freeing the only good fender on any of the trucks while I set to work pulling the grille from the Scout.

The Scout looked better in the photos (they always do) but had been crunched in the tailgate, leaving little good sheetmetal to pick from. The doors were trashed, the fenders were shot, and the traveltop, which looked clean in the pics, was too crusty to save (I had been thinking about how I could get it off and get it home if it had been in good shape). Most of the interior bits I’ve already got, and these were all Bordello Red to boot. Maybe the original radio would have been smart to grab, or the dashpad. I’ve got two A/C units now so I don’t need another. And there wasn’t enough time to break the doors down, although the hinge on the driver’s side broke as I tried to open it.

At about 11AM rainclouds rolled in and we spent an hour in a miserable downpour, covering our tools with tarps and trying to stay out of the muddy water running down the hill in rivulets.  All of the bolts on the grille came off with little effort save two that were too rusted to secure with a pair of vice-grips. I borrowed a sawzall from the yard guys and chopped at the bolts until I could pound a smaller socket on them to grab. With those off, the whole piece came off cleanly with two of the three chrome trim rings and both headlight surrounds.

I got a clean passenger’s side fiberglas top insert (both of mine have been split on the bottom to get around the rollbar), two tailgate latch assemblies, a pile of steel marker lights, one good rear taillight bucket, two horns, a pile of emblems, and other miscellania. I forgot to grab the traveltop bolts over the windshield. It would have taken another couple of hours to grab other good things—the fan shroud (the rest of the engine looked like it had been soaking in salt water for a decade), the seat bases, gauges, switchgear, and steering wheel.

Bennett made out with a good driver’s fender, a pile of hubcaps, trim rings, side trim and other emblems, two hubs, IH-branded cab lights and side mirrors, and a pile of other stuff. If we weren’t cold, wet and hungry we could have stuck it out for another couple of hours, but we were all of those things and we are old. Up in the lot he was able to get a replacement taillight for his CR-V, and in the same car we found a Honda-branded rubber mat for the back of mine.

All told, the trip was cheap and fun, and it was great to hang out with Bennett and get dirty and not draw any blood wrenching on old rusty trucks. He’s got a line on some more near here that he’s trying to pin down, and if he can, another trip will be in the works.

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Date posted: November 13, 2021 | Filed under Junkyards, Purchasing, Scout | Comments Off on Fresh Grille

I drove out to my friend Dave’s house in Flintstone Sunday morning to see if there was anything else I could pick off the Scout II and Scout 80 he’s got beached up on the hill behind his house. Picking parts is fun but also like walking into a loop in the time-space continuum: after the first two hours, you think you’re ahead of the game. By 4 o’clock, you’re racing the setting sun and scrambling to do a cost-benefit analysis to gauge what’s worth pulling before you have to leave, and you still have to figure out how to stuff it all in the vehicle you brought.

Both times I’ve been there before I scrambled for the whole day to pull as much as I could in the time that I had, and I always left thinking, “dammit, I meant to grab ____ and ____ and ____.” Looking over the photos before I left, I knew there wasn’t a ton of stuff left, but there were some things worth going back for. Scouts on the East Coast are getting rarer and rarer on the ground, so I’m trying to get what I can while it’s still available. Dave is a nice guy and knows his stuff isn’t going to roll across the stage at Mecum, so he’s fair on price and happy to lend a hand or grab a tool.

Originally I was going to drive the Scout, so I put the traveltop back on Friday night and prepped a set of recovery tools. When that was done I installed the liftgate gas struts from IH Parts America and marveled at how much nicer they feel than the old mechanical lift. I also put the pod on the roof of the CR-V to hedge my bets. The forecast was wishy-washy about rain and I didn’t want to drive out in the Scout if I was going to get caught in a downpour.

The morning looked lousy so I loaded up the CR-V and hit the road a little after 8. Dave hasn’t sold anything since the last time I was up there, so I was able to pick up right where I’d left off. I walked around both trucks and hit all of the target areas with PB blaster before I busted out the impact driver and a new set of bits. Over the course of the day I was able to grab:

  • The entire dash assembly with all wiring and mechanical switches
  • The windshield glass (the frame is beyond toast)
  • Both slider windows
  • The rear liftgate with glass—it’s not perfect, but it’s better than the spare I have, and has hinges
  • Both door strikers (I’d tried to get these last time, but the impact driver today was clutch)
  • The A/C box
  • The hood catch/release mechanism
  • The passenger fender—it’s crispy in areas but might be worth repairing in the future. This took too much time to remove.
  • An entire Scout 80 folding windshield with glass (score!)
  • Other bits and bobs I can’t remember

I had the hood off the 80 and ready to load up, but Dave asked to keep it over the engine to keep the rain off. I also asked him about the 80 doors but he was keeping those for parts for his running truck.

On the dammit, I meant to list:

  • I tried my best to pull the dashboard from the 80 but it’s fastened with some of the largest, stickiest Phillips-head screws I’ve ever dealt with. I want the IH speedometer BAD but couldn’t figure out how to get that without destroying it.
  • I also tried to get the steering wheel assembly out but was stymied by several bolts down at the steering box and one up under the fender.
  • The cowl was cut for a plow years ago, but I tried to get that too. There are several bolts inside the fenders that were rusted solid. If I ever go back I’ll ask Dave if I can Sawzall it off the front.
  • On the Scout II I got stuck pulling the emergency brake assembly off—the brakes are likely frozen and I couldn’t get any slack to release the cable.
  • The transmission tunnel cover—the automatic shift lever assembly gave me fits
  • I meant to grab the power steering pump but ran out of time there as well.

I was pretty amazed that I was able to fit it all in the CR-V; if I’d taken that hood and door it would have been a very tight fit. As it was the pod came in super-handy: I put both the liftgate and the 80 windshield up there, freeing up space for the other bulky stuff in back. Driving home, covered in grease, PB blaster and dirt, I was happy to have gone back out and grabbed some of the last best junk before the snow started blowing and it all rusted away even further.

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Date posted: October 25, 2021 | Filed under Purchasing, Scout | Comments Off on Picking Gristle Off the Bone

I ran across an auction for a Scout in Gold Poly the other day, and grabbed the photos while they were online. This is exactly what my tub looked like from the factory complete with a true ’75 grille:

Minus the west coast mirrors and black aftermarket wheels, of course. This rig even has the chrome trim strips, which mine was drilled for (Chewbacca did not have this exotic decoration). This one also has a factory step bumper, which Peer Pressure did not.

As much as I despise the purple, I think I like it better than Gold Poly. And I’m much happier with a ’72-73 grille than the odd ’75 grille design.

I also saw this gold ’75 at Nationals this year, parked several rigs down the line from me:

Gold poly 1975 Scout II

Gold with a white top and Rallye wheels—I like that look a lot more. And interestingly the grille surround is silver as well, something they did on the ’71-’72’s from the factory.

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Date posted: October 20, 2021 | Filed under Inspiration, Scout | Comments Off on Gold Poly